Rebecca Biton

Subject of PhD. Thesis: An Archaeozoological Study of Amphibians and Reptiles from Pleistocene Archaeological Sites in the Hula Valley, Israel

Name of Supervisor: Dr. Rivka Rabinovich – Hebrew University, Jerusalem. National Natural History Collections of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Institute of Earth Sciences and the Institute of Archaeology

Amphibian and reptiles form a substantial component of the zooarchaeological archaeozoological assemblages, and have considerable potential for providing significant information on environmental and anthropological-related topics. Nevertheless research of these two groups has been less than vigorous, while research concentrated primarily on mammals. My Ph.D. dissertation focused on three archaeological sites in the Hula Valley: Gesher Benot Ya’aqov (780,000 B.P.), Nahal Mahanayeem Outlet (65,000 B.P.) and Eynan (12,000 B.P.). The study had three objectives:

To identify for the first time the amphibians and reptiles in the fossil record of the Hula Valley from 780,000 to 12,000 B.P.

To clarify the interactions of humans with amphibians and reptiles, identify marks of exploitation, and if they exist, understand their meaning.

To shed light on possible climatic and environmental changes in the Hula Valley as indicated by amphibians and reptiles.

Publications

Biton, R., Boistel, R., Rabinovich, R., Gafny, S., Brumfeld, V. and Bailon, S. (2016) Osteological Observations on the Alytid Anura Latonia nigriventerwith Comments on Functional Morphology, Biogeography, and Evolutionary History, Journal of Morphology 277: 1131–1145.

Marder, O., Biton, R., Boaretto, E., Feibel, C.S, Melamed, Y., Mienis, H.K., Rabinovich, R., Zohar, I., and Sharon, G. (2015) Jordan River Dureijat – A new Epipaleolithic site in the Upper Jordan Valley. Journal of the Prehistoric Society 45: 5–31.

Biton, R., Goren, Y., Goring-Morris, A.N. (2014) Ceramics in the Levantine Pre-Pottery Neolithic B: Evidence from Kfar HaHoresh, Israel, Journal of Archaeological Science 41: 740–748.

Bocquentin, F., Khalaily, H., Bar-Yosef Mayer, D. E., Berna, F., Biton, R., Boness, D., DuBreuil, L., Emery-Barbier, A., Greenberg, H., Goren, Y., Horwitz, L. K., Le Dosseur, G., Lernau, O., Mienis,  H.K., Valentin, B., Samuelien, N. (2014)Renewed Excavations at Beisamoun: Investigating the 7th Millennium cal. B.C. of the Southern Levant, Journal of the Prehistoric Society 44: 5–100.

Biton, R., Geffen, E., Vences, M., Cohen, O., Bailon, S., Rabinovich, R., Malka, Y., Oron, T., Boistel, R., Brumfeld, V., Gafny, S. (2013) The rediscovered Hula painted frog is a living fossil, Nature Communications4. Article 1959. doi:10.1038/ncomms2959.

Rabinovich, R, Ackermann, O., Aladjem, E., Barkai, R., Biton, R., Milevski, I., Solodenko, N.,Marder, O. (2012) Elephants at the Middle Pleistocene Acheulian open-air site of Revadim Quarry, Israel, Quaternary International 276-277: 183–197.

Zohar, I., Biton, R. (2011) Land, lake, and fish: Investigations of fish remains from Gesher Benot Ya’aqov (Paleo-Lake Hula), Journal of Human Evolution 60: 343–356.

Rabinovich, R., Biton, R. (2011) Early–Middle Pleistocene faunal assemblages of Gesher Benot Ya‘aqov — Inter-site variability, Journal of Human Evolution 60: 357–374.

Goren, Y., Biton, R. (2010) Technology of the fired clay objects from Gilgal I. In Bar-Yosef, O., Goring-Morris, A.N. and Gopher, A. (eds.). Gilgal: Early Neolithic Occupation in the Lower Jordan Valley. The Excavations of Tamar Noy. ASPR & David Brown/Oxbow, Oakville, CT.pp.217–221.

Alperson-Afil, N., Sharon, G., Kislev, M., Melamed, Y., Zohar, I., Ashkenazi, S., Rabinovich,R., Biton, R., Werker, E.,  Hartman, G., Feibel, C., Goren-Inbar, N. (2009) Spatial Organization of Hominin Activities at Gesher Benot Ya‘aqov, Israel, Science 326: 1677–1680.

Zohar, I. and Biton, R. (2009) Fish speciation and endemism in the Paleo Lake Hula, Israel. In Makowiecki, D., Hamilton-Dyer, S., Riddler, I., Trzaska-Nartowski, N.and Makohonienko, M. (eds.).Environment and Culture: Fishes – Culture – Environment Through Archaeoichthyology, Ethnography & History. Vol. 7: 131–134; 15th Meeting of the Fish Remains Working Group of ICAZ, Poznan, Poland.

Ashkenazi, S., Motro U., Goren-Inbar, N., Biton, R., Rabinovich, R. (2005) New morphometric parameters for assessment of body size in the fossil freshwater crab assemblage from the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya’aqov, Journal of Archaeological Science 32: 675–689.

Lectures Presented at Scientific Meetings

Biton, R., Gonen, S., Rabinovich, R. Amphibians and Squamates from the Hula Valley Pleistocene: Assemblages from Gesher Benot Ya’aqov and Nahal Mahanayeem Outlet. The Israel Prehistoric Society annual meeting, Tel-Aviv, Israel, December 2016.

Biton, R., Bailon, S., Rabinovich, R. Amphibians and Squamates from Gesher Benot Ya’aqov and Nahal Mahanayeem Outlet: Two Pleistocene Archaeological Sites in the Hula Valley, Alcalá de Henares (Madrid), Spain, 1st Meeting of the ICAZ Microvertebrate Working Group, September 2016.

Bailon, S. Biton, R., Boistel, R. Données fossiles – données moléculaires, la bonne entente : le cas du « Discoglosse » d’Israël (Latonia nigriventer), Toulouse, France, 43e Congrès de la Société Herpétologique de France, October 2015.

Biton, R., Sharon, G., Steiner, T., Oron, M., Rabinovich, R. The tortoises and turtles from the Mousterian site Nahal Mahanayeem Outlet. The 17th Galilee Research Conference, Tel-Hai, Israel, April 2015.

Biton, R., Sharon, G., Steiner, T., Oron, M., Rabinovich, R. The turtles from Nahal Mahanayeem Outlet a Mousterian site: An anthropogenic assemblage? The Israel Prehistoric Society annual meeting, Beer Sheva, Israel, December 2014.

Biton, R., Boistel, R., Brumfeld, V., Rabinovich, R., Bailon, S. New insights into function, biogeography and evolutionary history of Latonia based on Latonia nigriventer osteology study, Mendoza, Argentina, 4th International Palaeontological Congress IPC,  October 2014.

Biton, R., Steiner, T. Turtles from late Pleistocene sites in the Hula Valley, Israel: palaeoecology and human exploitation, 12th International Conference of Archaeozoology ICAZ, San Rafael, Argentina, September 2014.

Weissbrod, L., Biton, R., Tsatskin, A., Zaidner, Y. Microvertebrate remains in the sedimentary context of the Middle Paleolithic open-air site of Nesher Ramla, Israel, 12th International Conference of Archaeozoology ICAZ, San Rafael, Argentina, September 2014.

 Biton, R. Amphibians and reptiles from Pleistocene archaeological sites in the Hula Valley, President’s (HaNasi) program for excellence at the Faculty of Humanities in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem –   annual meeting, Jerusalem, Israel, June 2014.

Biton, R., Rabinovich, R., Brumfeld, V., Boistel, R., Bailon, S. The Hula Painted Frog is the last survivor of an ancient genus, The Zoological Society of Israel annual meeting, Tel Aviv, Israel, December 2013.

Biton, R., Rabinovich, R. The faunal assemblages from Paleo-Hula Lake, The effect of climate change on the environment and hominins of the Upper Jordan Valley between ca.800Ka and 700Ka ago as a basis for prediction of future scenarios- Academia Scientiarum Israelitica, Jerusalem, Israel, May 2013.

Goldstein, M., Rabinovich, R., Biton, R. Taphonomic processes in lake margin environments – micro-vertebrate remains at Gesher Benot Ya’aqov (Area A), Israel: A case study, 11th International Conference of Archaeozoology ICAZ. Paris, France, August 2010.

Goldstein, M., Rabinovich, R., Biton, R. Taphonomic processes in lake margin environments – micro-vertebrate remains at Gesher Benot Ya’aqov (Area A), Israel: A case study. The Israel Prehistoric Society annual meeting, Tel-Aviv, Israel, December 2009.

Zohar, I., Biton, R., Fish speciation and endemism in the Paleo Lake Hula, Israel, 15th Meeting of The ICAZ Fish Remains Working Group (FRWG). Poznań, Poland, September 2009.

Rabinovich, R., Biton, R. The Early-Middle Pleistocene faunal assemblages of Gesher Benot Ya’aqov – taphonomy and paleoenvironment, Climate Change in the Upper Jordan Valley between Ca. 800 Ka-700 Ka Ago – its impact on the Environment and Hominins and its Potential as a Prediction for Future Scenarios. Jerusalem, Israel, May 2009.

Zohar, I., Biton, R., Goren-Inbar, N., Land, lake, and fish: Investigations of fish remains from Gesher Benot Ya’aqov (Paleo-Lake Hula), Climate Change in the Upper Jordan Valley between Ca. 800 Ka-700 Ka Ago – its impact on the Environment and Hominins and it’s Potential as a Prediction for Future Scenarios. Jerusalem, Israel, May 2009.

Biton, R., Goring-Morris, N.A. Death and Ritual at PPNB Kfar HaHoresh. Figures and People- Religion and Ritual in Israel- Israel Antiquity Authority and Yad Ben-Zvi Annual Meeting, Jerusalem, Israel, 2005.

Biton, R. The clay objects from Kfar HaHoresh: typology and technology. The Israel Prehistoric Society annual meeting, Jerusalem, Israel, December 2004.

Rabinovich, R., Biton, R., Motro, U. Sedimentological methods applied in taphonomical research, a case study, the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya’aqov, Israel. The 7th Meeting of the ASWA working group of ICAZ. Ankara, Turkey, April. 2004.

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